The Arab Solution
Nothing against Jackie Robinson, a great and brave ballplayer, and the anniversary of his arrival is giving all us white folks a delicious opportunity to feel virtuously bad about ourselves; but maybe its time for a little historical perspective.
The Imus uproar all over a single dumb, insulting wisecrack points up a cultural fact of our times.
This is a country where Al Sharpton is the Reverend Al Sharpton, a Christian clergyman to whom contrition and forgiveness are equally alien, and a civil rights leader, forsooth; while Huckleberry Finn is banned in schools. What else do you need to know about America today?
Lets go back a few centuries. More than a millennium, if you have a minute.
This country has a race problem and the Arab world doesnt. Why? The Arabs, mostly Muslims, had African slaves too. Yet many American blacks convert to Islam, because Christianity is allegedly a white mans religion.
The Koran doesnt forbid slavery. It says that Muslims cant be slaves, but permits infidels to be enslaved. And for quite a while the Arabs who owned slaves made eunuchs of them. Eunuchs have low birth rates.
Long-term result: Today there are no Jackie Robinsons or Al Sharptons in the Arab world. At least we dont hear about them.
The white men who brought Africans to America as slaves wanted them to breed. They were also Christians, and though their Bible didnt forbid slavery, they were a bit squeamish about castration. Both sides in our Civil War agreed about that. Otherwise, Huck Finn would have alluded to it.
Pretty simple, when you pause to think about it. If your ancestors were eunuchs, you may have real grounds for complaint; on the other hand, you probably dont exist.
Long-term result: Today a large black population does exist in North America (and parts of Latin America), with racial problems the Arab world doesnt have to deal with. Abe Lincoln foresaw this, and wanted to send free blacks out of the United States, a plain fact our historians are still evading and lying about.
I wonder if Sharpton, who is less apologetic about his slanders than, say, Mike Nifong, would give Lincoln second thoughts about the Emancipation Proclamation. Oh, never mind. We have to be tolerant. Of everything, except of course Don Imus. Directing an apology to Sharpton was the most racist thing Imus did.
In a sense, the Arabs long ago solved their race problem, once and for all time, with the knife. But the Sharptons who accuse the white man of so many things never accuse the Arabs of genocide, let alone demand reparations from them.
Those who freak out when Imus says hos should read The Arabian Nights. And I dont mean the versions edited for kiddies. I mean the thigh-slappers about rich Arabs being cuckolded by black African slaves. I like a good laugh as much as the next man, but there are limits. No wonder slaves in Arabia were prudently mutilated.
Which is not to excuse American-style slavery, or the cruel humiliations that followed it. But there were worse things, and it behooves us, especially the liberals among us who enjoy harping on slavery, Jim Crow, and the fans whose taunts made Jackie Robinsons life distressful, to think about some of them. Most of historys saddest victims died unpitied, with no descendants, no memorials, and no liberal mourners.
How on earth did the Christian West get from St. Augustine to Sharpton, from Dante and Petrarch to rap musique? To liken Sharpton to Jesse Jackson is an insult to Jackson; to call him a walking racial stereotype is an insult to the stereotype. Could anyone do more to engender contempt for blacks than he does? He makes the Ku Klux Klan superfluous.
Well, the armies of moral indignation have had their say. They got Imuss scalp, and welcome to it. But it will be a Pyrrhic victory. They have defined the rules of public discourse, and from now on, millions who would never defend Imus will insist that these rules be enforced in ways they may not like.
Weve already heard far too much about double standards this past week. But the rule Imus broke was the Great Minority Rule: We can say it you cant. That rule has now been exposed. And maybe even repealed.
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